Which are the most energy efficient economies? U.K. tops list


Steven Nadel,
Executive Director,
Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — July 13, 2012 – In a first for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), it set out to rank the energy efficiency of 12 of the world’s major economies – finding that the United Kingdom tops the list, followed closely by Germany, Italy, and Japan.

Based on the same methodology as the organization’s rankings of the U.S. states, the International Energy Efficiency Scorecard rankings were based on 27 metrics covering national energy efforts, buildings, industry, and transportation (i.e. the primary sectors responsible for energy consumption in economically developed countries).

The others in the ranking (in order) are France; the European Union, Australia, and China (tied); U.S.; Brazil; Canada; and Russia.

Together these 12 economies represent over 78 percent of global gross domestic product, 63 percent of global energy consumption, and 62 percent of the global carbon-dioxide equivalent emissions.

“The U.K. and the leading economies of Europe are now well ahead of the U.S. when it comes to energy efficiency,” commented ACEEE executive director Steven Nadel. “Unfortunately, our results show that nowhere is the vast potential for improvements in energy efficiency being completely realized. While many countries achieved notable success, none received a perfect score in any category.”

In the individual groupings the top-scoring countries are Germany for national efforts; China in buildings; the U.K. in industry; and a tie among Italy, China, Germany, and the U.K. in transportation.

The report also made an in depth study of energy efficiency in the U.S., finding that it had made some progress towards greater energy efficiency over the past decade, particularly in areas such as building codes, appliance standards, voluntary partnerships between government and industry, and most recently improvement in vehicle fuel economy standards. However, the overall story is disappointing because the country has progressed slowly, while countries including Germany, Japan and China surge ahead.

To ensure the U.S. can compete in a global economy, the report recommends a number of measures, including the setting of a national energy savings target, greater efficiency in manufacturing, more efficient power plants and power distribution, and financial incentives for investment in energy efficiency.